Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 2, 2018
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
Have you ever had a friend or known an acquaintance who walked away from God? Have you been blown away and thought, “They were so strong in their faith, and now they are going down a dangerous path. How could this happen?”
I don’t claim to know every reason why someone would walk away from Christ, but I recently noticed something in Scripture which gave me some insight into the answer for how this can happen. 1 Timothy 1:19 says,
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.” (NLT)
After I read this verse, I couldn’t help but think of a married couple. Imagine a wife makes the choice to maintain a close friendship with another man. Even though her conscience is telling her that she is in dangerous territory, she forges ahead. What’s the result? Her relationship with her husband suffers. Even if a full-blown love affair never develops with this man, her love for her husband is weakened because she violated her conscience and is not walking in the light (1 John 1:7)
A similar thing can happen in our relationship with the Lord. Our consciences act as a guide and protector to keep us close to Jesus. When we do what we know we shouldn’t do, when we violate what our conscience is telling us, “Don’t go there” “Don’t make that call” “Don’t say that” our commitment to Christ suffers. With the smallest disobedience, someone’s love affair with Him may not be as strong as it could be. With the largest disobedience, their faith may be entirely shipwrecked and they may walk away from Him. So, Paul instructs us to keep our conscience clear.
The notes in my Life Application Study Bible say for 1 Timothy 1:19 say:
“How can you keep your conscience clear? Treasure your faith in Christ more than anything else and do what you know is right. Each time you deliberately ignore your conscience, you are hardening your heart. Over a period of time, your ability to tell right from wrong will diminish. As you walk with God, he will speak to you through your conscience, letting you know the difference between right and wrong. Be sure to act on these inner tugs—so that you do what is right—then your conscience will remain clear.”
The love we have for Christ is strengthened one obedient act at a time. Stay close to Jesus today and pay attention to those little nudges the Lord gives you. They are His way of showing you that He loves you, that He wants to keep you safe and close to Him.
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized (Hebrews 6:11).
Prayer“Lord, I praise you that you are with me every day, guiding me through the Holy Spirit and the nudges you give me through my conscience. Always help me to pay attention and to quickly act in obedience.”
ApplicationPay attention to even the smallest ways the Holy Spirit speaks to you through your conscience today and do what you know is right.
Related Reading1 Timothy 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 3:14
Post/Tweet todayA clear conscience will keep you close to Christ. #WisdomHunters
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